June 25, 2021

#BookReview: First & Then by Emma Mills

Synopsis: Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


Rating: 1 Star
My Review: I think I have given up on Emma Mills as an author for me.  This one has some really weird writing and transitions in the story where things were happen then all of a sudden something else would be going on.  So the pacing and the story was just off. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Devon Tennyson has always attended Friday night football games to watch Cas, her best friend and object of her affection. The only other thing Devon takes seriously is her love of Jane Austen's novels. She understands the world through Austen and happily aspires to Jane's biting wit. Devon's happy to avoid thinking about the future, but then her cousin Foster moves in. He's an oddball freshman and despite being a senior, Devon has to endure him in her gym class, in addition to having him in her home. The only other senior in the class is the school's Darcy-like All-American football star, Ezra Lynley. When a fluke reveals Foster's talent as a kicker, Devon finds herself spending more time than she'd like with both boys. The dynamic between Devon and Ezra isn't quite as prickly as Lizzie and Darcy's, but they have the requisite spats and misunderstandings that all opposites-attract couples must have. The frequent references to Austen may not resonate with some teens, but they will please budding Janeites, who will also find the familiar plot beats satisfying. As in the classics, Mills's debut gives equal attention to the heroine's familial and romantic relationships. However, Devon's growth isn't only relative to the males in her life; her development is related to but ultimately independent of Ezra, Foster, and Cas. VERDICT Readers looking for an innocent romance with a relatable protagonist will enjoy this Austen-inspired work.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City


“With sporadic references to Jane Austen's famous characters and wickedly inventive language, Mills closely observes the social milieu of an American high school.... A fresh, smart, inventive, and altogether impressive debut.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

About the Author

Emma Mills is the author of First & ThenThis Adventure EndsFoolish HeartsFamous in a Small Town, and Lucky Caller. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and has recently completed a PhD in cell biology.

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